Today's postings

  1. [Baren 32336] RE: New Baren Digest (HTML) V37 #3714 (Dec 4, 2006) ("Lee Churchill")
  2. [Baren 32337] Pricing and selling (Tyrus Clutter)
  3. [Baren 32338] Re: feeling better now thanks ("Wilson, Cyndy")
  4. [Baren 32339] Selling...or not... (pulpfic #
  5. [Baren 32340] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
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Message 8
From: "Lee Churchill"
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2006 11:24:13 -0700
Subject: [Baren 32336] RE: New Baren Digest (HTML) V37 #3714 (Dec 4, 2006)
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I hate to sound like such a complainer but I will anyway. I still want
to know why people are willing to pay more for the frame than the art
that goes into it?

>>>I don't think you sound like a complainer, I went through a period in
art school of trying to dissect the whys and wherefore's of ART, my art
and the PUBLIC, so I can tell of my experience.

A side point - knowing several framers, some who are very very
talented, they will tell you that they don't get paid what their frames
are worth either - Wal-Mart and Michael's have undercut prices to the
point where most simply stop. So it's all really your point of view.
One friend has had to relegate his framing to a 'hobby' because his
business went under. His frames are wonderful with nigh invisible joins
and amazing handcraftsmanship. Never assume framers aren't artists in
their own right or that they feel well compensated!

Is it because artists hold a lower place in our society. Do you think
people ever go into a frame shop and say to the person "hey what a great
little hobby you have here."?

>>> Here is the part about what I learned in my search to understand.
Artist's are lower ranking in society that's a fact, whether we should
be is open to argument. Reading a "psychology 101" text helped me accept
this. It talked about an upside down pyramid of needs - food, shelter,
and clothes are at the bottom, the point on which everything rests,
unless we have those things securely covered (i.e. we're not worrying
about where our next meal is coming from) we can't move onto the other
levels - love, acknowledgement and personal fulfillment are further up
and art appreciation is way up there - there are tons of other factors
that "we" have to deal with before art is a priority. In essence, to
think of it as an economic factor - for people who spend $40 on
groceries a week to pay $40 for a print is a very large investment.
Compared to food we are less valued, and rightly so. For the hobby
factor, a) most people, that I have encountered, see anything that isn't
9-5 with a steady paycheque as either unemployment or a hobby; it's just
part of the standard mentality. I just politely but firmly say "I am an
Artist, this _is_ my work. I have a day job to pay the bills but it is
not intrinsic to who I am Art is." (People get a very confused look and
usually walk away in a fugue but that's their problem.) b) A friend who
is an entrepreneur says that having a retail store front is half the
battle; people take you way more serious if you have some place they can
go. Unfortunately, the basement doesn't count.

I did go to college to learn how to do this stuff I even majored in
printmaking. It's not just a hobby to me. It seems like that's how so
many people view art and artists. They love making art so much its just
a bonus if someone buys it. they would make art even if no one bought
it. Am I just being self indulgent. is there no other reason to make art
than because i love to. if that's the case I should quit. is art

>>> I too went to art school and majored in printmaking, and then I went
on to get a 'real' job. After trying to relegate my art to hobby status
for several years I realized that it wasn't enough. For me, I couldn't
just quit, I couldn't even let it be less than a consuming part of my
life. My soul withered, I became anxious, depressed, and irritable. For
me it really is be creative or become a person I really dislike. If
someone buys my work great but I can't stop making. Even if I end up
with stock piles of material and having done ten paintings on the one
canvas it doesn't matter. I live through my work, it's how I
emotionally process and deal with my life (good and bad).

Why do you think that you should quit if you are only doing it for the
love of it? Self-indulgence gets a bad rap, if you are being aware of
your needs and desires and taking care of your whole-self, it can only
be good. I would say that more likely you should quit if you are doing
it for the money - that you can get more of elsewhere without so much
effort. Art is never pointless even if it is just to make you happy -
what better point is there than that? A professor told me when I was
moaning about people not liking my work that "like or dislike is a
matter of taste, and tastes change." She figured it went in about ten
year cycles of people loving her stuff or being indifferent to it. So
she just stopped caring, was happy to only sculpt when she was selling
well and picked up other jobs (like teaching) when she wasn't. I still
work full-time and don't expect to make a "living" from my art, there
are days when my hands itch and I'm sad that that is the case but I too
need to eat (and pay for supplies). The point is to find the time to
create (which as I've asked people on the list before that is hard in

how many people would care or notice if there was no art made from now
on. See that really sounds whinny crybaby well i didn't mean it to. I'll
shut up now and go print.
>>>I make myself feel better by acknowledging that Art is everywhere
around us. Without designers and all the artists who work in areas that
aren't "fine" art nothing would be built. There would be no cars,
planes, buildings, webpages, books, clothes, etc. etc. etc. People need
to be educated to understand that aesthetics are part of their life and
to understand the ways in which it can be used to improve mood, mindset,
society, community and all the other things that are 'valued'. I'm not
sure how to go about that, I'm currently reading several theorists
hoping to find an answer - John Ruskin and William Morris at the moment.
I'm also a bookbinder and if you want to get into the "no one will pay
for what my work is worth" discussion I can set you up with an entire
cadre of book people who make wonderful things and continually get "what
a nice hobby - I don't want to buy yours but tell me how I can make my
own" and "I can get that in paperback at Chapter's for a fraction of the

I think that feeling this way is a normal part of an artist's
development, as you can tell from the responses here, others have
thought about it fairly in depth as well!


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Message 1
From: Tyrus Clutter
Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2006 14:17:45 -0500
Subject: [Baren 32337] Pricing and selling
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This is always such a touchy subject. I get asked about this by students and
our organizational members quite often. It ranks with ³How do I get my work
in a gallery?² as a top question.

I do agree that educating people is the key. One of the main reasons that
printmaking made such a big splash in the Dutch and Flemish cultures was
that people of nearly all means could afford to have art in their homes. As
printmakers we have to understand that and remember to price things in that
way. It doesnıt mean that we sell for nothing, but we do need to help people
through the decision making process (including archival and attractive ways
to frame). Once someone buys one print from you, the likelihood that they
may buy more increases. Collecting is a bit addictive.

All this said, I would guess that most Bareners make their living doing
something other than selling their work. It is a commitment and a leap of
faith few of us are able to make.

Tyrus Clutter
Director, Christians in the Visual Arts
255 Grapevine Road
Wenham, MA 01984

978-867-4128: Office
978-867-4125: Fax

Christians in the Visual Arts is the premier visual arts organization
connecting the artist, the Church, and the culture.
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Message 2
From: "Wilson, Cyndy"
Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2006 11:26:22 -0800
Subject: [Baren 32338] Re: feeling better now thanks
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Viza wrote 'I still want to know why people are willing to pay more for the
frame than the art that goes into it? Is it because artists hold a lower
place in our society. Do you think people ever go into a frame shop and say
to the person "hey what a great little hobby you have here."?'

I framed professionally for 10 years and people regularly said something
much like that and on occasion worse. Framers certainly aren't immune. I
had heard more times than I could count that framing costs too much (I only
paid $5 for the print-print usually means a poster), framing isn't brain
surgery, implying that we weren't professionals and that anyone could walk
in off the street and do it (this after getting a quote for a shadow box and
wanting the piece ready to pick up later that afternoon) how can you charge
that much for a simple piece (after I spent 1 1/2 hours designing it) and on
and on. But there were also those who would spend $500 to frame an original
intaglio or woodcut without batting an eye. We cherished customers like
that. They bought wonderful, original artwork and wanted it framed
beautifully and with conservation materials. It ran the whole gamut. AND at
least I got to be inside, in one location and didn't have to endure the
weather extremes that Maria does.

Cyndy Wilson
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Message 3
From: pulpfic #
Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2006 13:21:03 -0800
Subject: [Baren 32339] Selling...or not...
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Hi everybody,

This is such a timely thread, and beautifully articulated by so many of
you. If you can't (for now) make a living with visual art, you could be
writers! 8^D

I read Maria's recent missive on the eve of the only Christmas craft fair
I'm doing this year. Good thing I read that before going to the fair, and
also a good thing that I heaped mounds of my annual cash crop, organic
garlic bulbs, into large, festive, seasonal mugs, tasteful bowls and
terracotta plant pots, turning garlic into a "craft", cuz I sold absolutely
zero matted woodcut/linocut prints, matted colour photographs, handcoloured
photographs or cyanotype prints, handbound blank books, or cheap little
leaf-print cards of my handmade paper.

I like to joke that I'm taking my art out for its annual "airing" as I
rarely sell anything, anywhere. That isn't going to stop me from doing my
work as much and as often as I can, but there is a serious danger of
avalanche and possible burial alive in my tiny house. It would be a mixed
fallout; about half and half art materials and completed art.

I had my hopes up for this fair (always a mistake, as there's that dashing
of the hope every time, but I'm such an eternal optimist!), as it was
located in a country fairground well-known for quite a ways around, in
bigger communities, and people come to that fair who don't usually get as
far east as my little town.

It was a long day in the "suffering cheerfully" department (nope, not this
venue, either; at least not this time...), but I did sell a few
squeaky-cellophane-wrapped containers of garlic, and several brown bags of
just garlic by the pound (thanks to my son, who strongly suggested I take
some, just in case). Sigh, oh sigh...

As usual, there were a few rewarding comments from people who really get
what I'm doing (even though they don't buy), so I'm cruising on the
positive feedback and keeping on keeping on. No thin skin here.

Anyway, thanks to all who posted such words of wisdom, bravery and
tolerance. I have saved all your posts in the folder I call Art Thoughts
for regular review, and I hope you don't mind that I've passed several of
them along to my sister, who has to work full-time (ew!) at an exhausting
job, and hasn't made any art in (almost) living memory. She really, really
needs the motivational support. At least my job is fun, only on-call a few
hours a week, and I don't need much money to get by.

Even though my income is minuscule, I buy other peoples' art whenever I
can, as well as all the books and art supplies I need. I also attend all
the concerts in town and buy CDs from the performers if at all possible.
I've discovered that if I'm quite loose and free with the little money I
have, it grows back almost right away, and I never do without the basics
and then some.

I give my art away more and more, too – if it isn't going to sell, I might
as well donate it to fundraisers for good causes and give it as gifts to
those who really appreciate it. At least it will be "out there" and wanted.

Take care,
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Ms Randi DeLisle
bookbinder, publisher, printmaker & photographer
pulp fictions & pulp fictions press
Grand Forks BC Canada pulpfic (at)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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Message 4
From: Blog Manager
Date: 5 Dec 2006 04:55:25 -0000
Subject: [Baren 32340] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
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This is an automatic update message being sent to [Baren] by the forum blog software.

The following new entries were found on the listed printmaker's websites during the past 24 hours. (25 sites checked, five minutes before midnight Eastern time)


Site Name: BarenForum Group Weblog

Author: Dave Bull
Item: Baren prints at Disneyland!


Site Name: m.Lee Fine Art

Author: m.Lee


Site Name: Belinda Del Pesco Fine Art Blog

Author: bdelpesco
Item: Watercolor: Camellias


Site Name: VIZArt

Author: Viza Arlington
Item: Owl


[Baren] members: if you have a printmaking blog (or a website with a published ATOM feed), and wish it to be included in this daily checklist, please write to the Baren Blog Manager at:

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